Buffalo Bills: Grading the Team's 6th Round of 2012 NFL Draft
Round 6 is in the books for the Buffalo Bills, and once again they stayed big on the offensive line—big both in priority and size.
With pick No. 178, Buffalo selected Mark Asper, a three-year starter for the Oregon Ducks’ both at offensive guard and offensive tackle.
Asper is the third offensive lineman the Bills have drafted through six rounds, showing that the team remains committed to adding depth in the trenches. Like Cordy Glenn and Zebrie Sanders who were selected before him, Asper offers versatility and size.
He’s 6’6” and 320 pounds, but he has less length than his fellow draftees, as his arms measured in at 32.25”. This short reach would indicate that the Bills plan to use him on the interior
Although Asper is listed in draft circles as a guard with experience at tackle, it’s worth noting that the official Twitter account of the Buffalo Bills announced Asper as a center. While it’s unknown whether or not this is any indication of their plans, it’s worth mentioning since the team does need a quality backup to starter Eric Wood.
Based on the eyeball test, Asper may be a bit too tall for center, but that’s just a guess. Perhaps the Bills will give him a look there and see how he performs.
If not, his vast experience at guard adds another body behind Andy Levitre, Chad Rinehart and Kraig Urbik. Last year, Urbik filled in nicely for Wood when he went down with an injury. The thinking, then, could be that the Bills feel Urbik is a capable No. 1 backup to Wood at center, whereas Asper could then fill in at guard if need be.
Rotoworld.com briefly discusses some of analysis of Asper’s game, noting that he demonstrates “questionable footwork.” He’s also already 27 years old.
At this point in the draft, prospects naturally have holes or questions about their game. And while the raw talent can’t be taught, the footwork and technique can.
Asper does have some athleticism and can sustain blocks. Overall, an interesting (potential) way for Buffalo to address the backup center position by taking a player who can fill in for Urbik at guard if Urbik needs to play center. Pick grade: B.
With one more selection to go as of now at pick No. 251, Buffalo looks to cap off an extremely successful draft with another quality player.
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